What are the registration criteria for Utrechtinc (joining the community and program)?

  • You are passioned about entrepreneurship, you are ambitious and a real [persistent ‘go-getter’
  • Your business concept is innovative and scalable (possibly with an IT component).
  • Your concept fits in one of these focus areas: Climate, Health, Education.
  • Your concept offers sufficient market potential
  • You want to actively participate in the UtrechtInc entrepreneurs community.
  • You want to have one or more work spaces or an office at UtrechtInc.
  • Your business exists less than 5 years (with enrollment at the Chambers of Commerce)

How can I sign up for UtrechtInc (incubation and acceleration)?
Apply for a coffee2gether at our website. During this first meeting you will get acquainted with UtrechtInc and talk about the possibilities of entering our community. Did you allready sign up for a coffee2gether or an info meetup? You still have to make your application for the acceleration program official by sending us a Onepager. Furtheron we will keep in touch about the selection. In the meantime… you can always come by to use our workspace or facilities.

What’s the difference between incubation and acceleration?
UtrechtInc is an incubator with an acceleration program. ‘Incubation’ stands for basic support. ‘Acceleration’ is achieved when participating in the program.

  • Basic support (incubation):
    Means access to an office space, meeting rooms, a coffeecorner, sharing knowledge, social activity in the startupcommunity, consults with experts and startup deals. You can only use the facilities of basic support when you are going to take part in our program.
  • The program (acceleration):
    Consists of trainings, masterclasses, mentor coaching, and feedback sessions. Also, in the program (stage 1 or 2) you start with other new startups, which means you will quickly build some professional connections. Your new ‘startup-colleagues’ will offer you specific and constructive feedback, good tips and a larger network.

How will I know in which stage I can start (1 Discovery or 2 Pressure Cooker)?
Twice a year we start a new cycle of our program with new entrepreneurs. Beforehand a selection day is organised for the best startups out of all the applications (with onepagers). On that day a maximum of 10 startups will be selected. Together with the startups we decide in which stage they can start.

What possibilities are offered to startups by UtrechtInc?
UtrechtInc is all about Startup Support. We offer a community of peers, mentors, office facilities, masterclasses, a network, starting capital and so much more!

How does the selection process of entrepreneurs and startups work?
Every application of a startup starts with a personal meeting (a coffee2gether, meeting for Thursday drinks or info meetup). Like what you hear? Then you apply for our program by sending us an one pager summarising your startup idea. After the deadline for application a number of startups is invited for the selection day. During this day the startups will pitch three times for the members of the UtrechtInc team and entrepreneurs from the community. A maximum of 10 startups will be selected.

How will a startup proceed in the program and the different stages?
You can read all about the acceleration program: stage 1 Discovery, stage 2 Pressure Cooker and stage 3 Build, on our program webpage.

Which startups are in the community at this moment?
We earlier mentioned how UtrechtInc selects startups. They have to meet our criteria and their entrepreneurial drive and visions also have to match with the community. UtrechtInc believes that ambitious entrepreneurship is an important factor for improving society. Startups can easily and quickly turn knowledge and innovations into a positive impact on people and their environment. The focus areas are: Climate, Health and Education. In our startup network you can have a look at the current UtrechtInc companies.

When my startup joins the program, how can I be sure to get a mentor in my field?
When you get selected, in the first kick off week of the program you will take part in a mentormatching session. Numerous mentors with different specialties will come by and have speeddates with all the startups. Eventually startups as well as mentors can let us know their choice of preferance. A right match will be made! In our network all our mentors are displayed and arranged by field of expertise.

How are mentors selected?
This is a two-parted process. Mentors are recruited by the UtrechtInc team, but can also aplly themselves. The mentors are experienced entrepreneurs or investors with an interest in startups. They run or ran their own successful business and have experience in: IT / Internet / Financing / Marketing / E-climate / E-health / E-learning.

What do we expect from our mentors?

  • Presence for half a day during the Kick Off Week to meet all the new startups and make a match with ‘their startup’ for the next couple of months (beginning of March).
  • A minimum of 24 hours involvement.
  • A minimum of 2 personal meetings with their startup team.
  • Give feedback and advice through e-mail / skype / google drive / …
  • Evaluate and give feedback on the growing process of the startup
  • Being interested in the lean startup methodology

I am a researher/PhD’er/post-doc, how can will I manage my time between building a company and working on my reserach?
The division of time is all up to you! Of course we will agree on some rules of commitment up front. In the discovery stage you will get into exactly this issue. You can experience entrepreneurship and decide what role you want to have within your startup and how big that role should be. Also, in the discovery phase you will have time to build a complementary startup team. With our network of professionals and young talent and through our co-founder eventsyou’re likely to meet the right co-founders and team members.

Should I be worried about patents and licences?
Before your application you shouldn’t worry. UtrechtInc will help you with these kinds of matters. Besides, UtrechInc has a great partner on the Science Park specialized in patenting, intellectual property and business development: Utrecht Holdings.

Is it necessary to have access to a high starting capital to build your startup?
No, what you should have is perceverance! A lot of the startups at UtrechtInc start with a very low budget. Hard work pays off! Moreover UtrechtInc grants you access to pitch for starting capital or beneficial startup loans.

Is it mandatory to move in to an office at UtrechtInc?
The offices and workspaces are included in the program, so why shouldn’t you? You learn a lot from working within a community of peers, by sharing knowledge, experiences and connections. We advise you to work at our offices as much as you can. That way you will make the most of the acceleration process and you will get extra motivated in the startup environment.

Which remaining facilities are accessible for startups in the community?
At UtrechInc you can make use of… working spaces, your own office, desks, office chairs, meeting rooms,  a copyroom, a lounge, free coffee, sanitation, a kitchen with dishwasher and microwave oven, free wifi, advice and a nice chat with the UtrechtInc team and more!

Can I still work at my current job while participating in the program?
In stage 1 you can, in stage 2 you can’t. Building a business costs a lot of time and focus. In stage 1 you will discover of your startup concept is viable enough to (partially) quit your current job. In stage 2, your dedicated fulltime! To keep a side job or parttime job is of course possible and up to you. We do suggest in stage 2 you mostly work at your office in the UtrechtInc building.

Can I apply for the program if I am still a student?
No. you can sign up for StudentsInc, the pre-incubator of UtrechtInc. Here you work on your startup while studying or during your graduation phase. After receiving you diploma there are possibilities to transfer to UtrechtInc. When you are a PhD candidate or post-doc you can apply for the UtrechtInc program.

How successful are the startups and graduates that start at UtrechtInc?
We have supported more than 140 startups so far. You might have heard of Snappcar, Yunoo,Fosbury, Cristal Therapeutics, DistimoArgen-XOne Shoe and PressPage. The achievements in numbers:

  • 66,4 MLN total collected capital 2009-2013
  • 27 MLN revenue obtained in 2013
  • 470 jobs created in 2013
  • 70% of the startups works on an international level in 2013

Will I receive feedback when rejected for the program?
After your signup we will personally meet you (and your team). We want to get to know you and find out more about you business concept. During this meeting we will give you feedback. We can’t manage to give teams feedback who only apply online, but aren’t able to come by for coffee. After the application deadline, we will continue with selected startups.

How many team members should my startup have?
Everything more the 1 is a team, but in our experience 2 – 4 members are perfect for a founder team. We suggest you build a startup team with people who have knowledge of: business development, sales, the field in which you operate. In addition it might be useful to have skills such as: developing, coding, frontend, marketing, communications, etc. You decide how many team members you will need to start your business. You can always expand.

How will I find co-founders, team member or interns?
UtrechtInc organises team building events a couples times a year. The events are meant to connect people (supply and demand of professionals who have an interest in startups!).

  • Startup Meets Co-founder event: Startups looking for co-founders are connected to entrepreneurs or professionals who want to join a great concept.
  • Startup Meets Talent event: Startups get to know students or young talented people who are looking for a parttime job or internship.

In which sessions or events can I take part at UtrechtInc?
We believe a dynamic vibrant community is very important. That’s why we meet each other for drinks every Thursday and every three months for a community event. Also on a regular basis we have workshops and trainings by experts, sessions with external consultants and intervision sessions with peers and UtrechtInc coaches (every other week). In these sessions the entrepreneurs review each other’s businesses and progress which leads to learnings and insights. Of course we also alert our startups on other internal and external events and challenges for networking, prize money and exposure through free publicity.

What are the costs?
On this page you can learn more about the payment method for incubation and the program.